Interview / Personality Test for IAS – An Overview

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The Interview / Personality Test is the last leg of the Civil Services Examination. The Personality Test is of 275 marks, out of which the highest scores that are awarded are in the range of 201-210. Interestingly, the lowest marks in the personality Test range from 70 to 110 – which are the know the lowest scores so far awarded in the CSE.

In this article, we will see

  1. Board Composition
  2. Dress Code for the Personality Test
  3. Documentation Queries for the personality Test

Board Composition

The Interview Board consists of 5 members. Among these there is usually one female member, in every board. The chairperson of the board is a member of the Commission. You can see the list of members of the Commission by visiting the IAS Interview Preparation Guide.

The board consists of academicians and retired bureaucrats. There may be a psychologist in the board. However, this is not revealed to the candidates.

On the day of the Interview

Dress Code of the Personality Test

For men, the common dress code is a formal shirt and part. A tie may be worn. You can also wear a Suit to the Interview. Out of 10 candidates, usually 3-4 candidates may be wearing a shirt and pant, another 3 may have an additional tie and the last third may be wearing a suit. So you do not have to worry about whether it will be awkward to wear a suit ( since it is hot ).

It is usually very cold in the Interview room, so you may comfortably wear a suit even if it summer.

Dress Code for Women

The dress code for women can be any of the below

  • Kameez Salwar,
  • Saree,
  • Westerna Business Suit.

In the past 8 years since we have been working with Interview groups, we have not seen the dress code making any difference to the scoring pattern – so if you are a ForumIAS Academy student – don’t ask the mentor what clothese to wear.

However, so that you can make a confident choice, out of 20 women, nearly 10-12  women candidates wear a saree, 6-8 wear a salwar suit and and 1/2 out 20 wear Western Formals.

However, from personal experience, we have seen in CSE 2018 and CSE 2019 women candidates wearing Western formals also getting a top score, so in case you are not at all comfortable in Indian formals, you can go for western formals.

When it comes to Saree, we have seen female candidates prefer a cotton saree or a silk saree – solid colours only, no prints.

Same goes for men. Generally prefer lighter colours like white, crème color, light blue, with dark pants like black, navy blue, and such shades. Candidates also wear dark solid colours sometimes, with matching light colored pants. No cheques or prints or designs please!

In case you are the sweaty kind, and want to avoid sweat patches under your shirt, we recommend half sleeve vests that will help control the problem to some extent.

True story!

You will be informed in advance about the documents that you need to carry. They generally include:

  • 10th Marksheet for Date of Birth proof
  • AADHAR Card ( latest change in past 3 years or so )
  • 12th Certificate ( optional )
  • Copy of e-Admit Card for the Personality Test / Email
  • Original Certificate of SC / ST / OBC Non Creamy Layer / EWS

Note that out of the above the Caste Certificate if not found adequate, the commission gives you time to submit it at a later date.

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